Rick, you left out lots of "stuff". And I mean fluff that's not necessary for a good education. Bedford spends in excess of $26,000/student/yr, and it'll never be enough for many people. But as a parent who has been in the district for 25 years, I see plenty of wasteful spending and a wandering way too far off the path of basics in education. I got a heck of an education in Catholic school with one nun/50 students and none of the tech, aides, programs and so forth for a fraction of the spending. How is that?
When you begin to look deeper and see the costs of operation, including the buildings, vehicles (buses too), plowing, safety, technology (the more the better for 21st century learners), licensing for everything from websites to attendance systems, and personnel (support staff as well as teachers), the money seems realistic. Then you add in the costs of special education and unfunded mandates that localities must step up to meet, the picture gets clearer. Finally, add in the costs of NYS tests, both administration, production, distribution, and grading. We have Superintendents making a 1/4 million dollars/year. Don't forget the cost of sports, music and art...
It's a vast operation in the Empire State. Of course it's expensive. It is an investment in the future, not a cost and not a waste.